Consumer Reports

Gay saunas in Seoul ban old, unattractive foreigners

Photo: The Korea Observer
Photo: The Korea Observer
Lee Tae-hoon
Written by Lee Tae-hoon

A famous gay sauna in Seoul has banned old, unattractive foreigners, according to a source who was refused entry.

Black is a gay bathhouse in Shinnonhyeon, Seoul that made the headlines in 2012 when the owner was arrested for allowing gays to have sexual intercourse in his public bathhouse.

About 20 people were engaging in a sexual act when the police burst into the sauna according to media reports.

The business still thrives today as people consider it to be a “hot place” but people are also being turned down because they are too old, too fat or from an ethnic minority.

A sign at Black reads that people who are fat or aged 45 and older are banned from enterring.

A sign at Black reads that people who are fat or aged 45 and older are banned from entering. Photo:  The Korea Observer

“When trying to visit there I was rejected saying that this place was only for KOREAN PEOPLE,” the source said on the Consumer Complaints Forum of The Korea Observer.

“Clearly foreigners for them means white people and not Asian because I saw a Chinese guy going inside which is a clear discrimination based on race. I was very offended by this policy.”

He said it was very disappointing to see “an already discriminated minority such as being gay goes on to discriminate against another minority such as being a foreigner.”

An employee of Black, however, said to The Korea Observer that he would have allowed this customer in if he looked attractive and that it is inevitable to have a discriminatory policy because it needs to attract “hot” males to make the place “hot.”

“You cannot enter here if you are fat, or 45 years or older. We allow young and slim white customers but try to prohibit all South East Asians because we get complaints from other customers,” he said.

An employee of Prince, a popular gay sauna in Shinchon, says that Prince and many other gay saunas in Seoul have a stricter policy than Black to fill their bathhouse with customers who have a strong sex appeal.

“We need to make the majority of our customers happy to stay in business,” said an employee of Prince.

The employee said that gay customers are too picky and hard to satisfy.

Prince and other gay saunas, including Shelter in Seocho, Seoul, refuse to have customers who are older than 39, fat or South Asians.

“It is very hard to satisfy all. Some young men even complain that we don’t have enough old men,” the employee of Prince said.

Goo Soo-jin, a naturalized Korean citizen from Uzbekistan, filed a complaint with the human rights commission for being denied entry to a public bathhouse in Busan in 2011.

The commission ruled that her rights were violated, but no penalty was handed down to the bathhouse because Korea does not have an anti-discrimination law that penalizes business owners for discriminating against customers based on race.

About the author

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon is publisher at The Korea Observer. He previously worked for the Korea Times and Arirang TV. You can reach him at lee@koreaobserver.com.

  • Elle

    The sign also states that fat people are banned LOL!

  • Karl Yang

    fuckin fags

  • 헛소리 좀 그만해라 태훈아

    꼴깝떨고 있네. 너희들은 그냥 젊은 한국애들 노리고 오지만 젊은 한국사람들 + 업주의 입장은 생각하지 않냐? 나도 게이지만 이거가지고 차별이니 뭐니 지랄하는 너희 서구 세력이나 교포 새끼들 개소리 지껄이는거 보면 가관도 아니라고 본다. 애초에 컨셉클럽을 인지하지 못하고 차별당한다고 발광하지 말고 다른 곳을 찾아보는게 어떨까? 정말 이런 기사볼때마다 느끼는건 아전인수식 해석은 답이 없다는 것이다.

  • cardigan stewz

    open a sauna for old and fat people only, you’ll make a killing.

  • 맨투맨휴게텔_이반

    We don’t ban all foreigners.
    https://twitter.com/man2man_Gay

    Visit my sauna man2man in friday and saturday .

    Friday and saturday is busy.
    Another day is litte quiet./ But You can Sleep just 10000won

    hmmm I think , some foreigners doesn’t shower
    Almost Korean Custmers visit and shower first in the sauna.
    Korean thinks it is etiquette and manner for parner .

    Thanks For read my Poor english.

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